27.06.07 – By Gavin Stone: Anthony ‘The Man’ Mundine has defended his World Boxing Association (WBA) super middleweight world title with a unanimous point’s decision victory over Argentine Pablo Daniel Zamora Nievas at the Gold Coast Convention Centre..
Mundine entered the stadium being carried as a king on his throne complete with crown, and carried by team members dressed as Roman soldiers, along with support via the tunes of Body Head Bangerz.
Before the bout Nievas received fax messages of support from his country’s President Nestor Kirchner and football legend Diego Maradona, and seemed undaunted by the task ahead.
Mundine started the fight on the front foot looking to take control early, eliminating any doubt that Neivas could pose the same problems with his height, reach and strength that former Mundine conqueror Manny Siaca did. Nievas showed great courage, testing Mundine at times with his strong combination punching, but Mundine was always in control and displayed exceptional handspeed and selection of punches. Nievas took a standing eight count from referee Raúl Caíz Jr. in the fifth round, and finished the bout with both eyes swollen.
Mundine was awarded the decision on all three judges’ scorecards, with Pinij Prayadsab scoring it 119-107, Takeo Harada 119-108 and Byung-Ki Kim 120-108.
Mundine moves to 29-3, while Nievas dropped to 17-2-1, with ‘The Man’ appearing to have torn a right bicep muscle after having to be iced during the post fight interview.
Mundine is now likely to increase his calls for a unification bout against divisional kingpins Mikkel Kessler, who defeated Mundine in Sydney in 2005, and Welshman Joe Calzhage. However Mundine concedes it’s likely he will have to get some more defences on his resume before the big-name opponents come knocking on his manager’s door.
“Calzhage is in that position – he’s number one in our division – because of his defences as a fighter. I just have to keep knocking people out,” Mundine said.
“The more quick defences – boom, boom, boom – I want to make statements, I want to make noise. If I can fit a a Calzhage in there, I’ll go to instant stardom worldwide.
“I believe I’m ready now. Saying that, it would be great to get some defences and experience of world title fights under my belt. “
I really feel like I’m in a part of my career where I’m starting to get on the top of my game. It’s hard because some of these guys, it’s hard to get big fights.
“In the meantime I’ll keep fighting whoever they put in front of me as far as the top 15 – you can’t fight anybody out of the top 15 in the world.
“Whoever that is, I’m going to knock them out. I’m going to make statement after statement until one of these guys says, ‘let’s go’.”
The two-time world champion Mundine is also reported to be in negotiations to stage his next world title defence in Malaysia, with September being mentioned as a possible date. A rematch with Australian arch-rival Danny Green is also on the horizon, possibly to be staged in Perth, Western Australia.
Gavin Stone, iseekactive.com